How to Recover Data from Damaged Mac


Nowadays, more and more people prefer to save important documents and files to external hard drives. This way, your Mac will not be slowed down by too many saved files. Moreover, it is a good way to back up and move your external hard drive anywhere.

damaged mac

Unlike Mac computers, there is no visible “Recycle Bin” where all the deleted files are stored. When you face the annoying problems of data loss on your Mac external hard drive, you need to recover data from your external hard drive to Mac using free data recovery software for Mac. This is the most reliable and time-saving solution for recovering deleted or lost files.

Mac OS External Hard Drive. How to recover data?

Let’s get straight to the point. Disk Drill supports most popular brands of external hard drives, including Seagate, Western Digital, LaCie, Samsung, Maxtor, etc. You can recover almost all types of files and formats from a remote, formatted, or damaged external hard drive. If it’s not totally damaged, of course. More on that below.

Disk Drill offers free features to scan and preview your external hard drive, depending on the degree of damage. So you can check if you can recover data (files and folders) from your external hard drive (even if it’s partially damaged) to Mac or not, before activating the full version (Disk Drill Pro). Disk Drill can help you find and recover lost partitions, restore HFS+ catalog files, and recover lost data.

The whole interface is clean and intuitive. Even newbies can fairly quickly recover lost data from an external hard drive. Disk Drill also features Quick Scan and Deep Scan functions. It can help you recover different types of files such as video, images, audio, documents, and more. Files in MP4, AVI, 3G2, DV, MOV, FLV, MTS, WAV, AAC, M4A, MP3, WMA, BMP, JPG, PNG, HEIC, JNB, WEBP, DOC, HTML, XLS, as well as RAR, ZIP, PST archived files.

  1. After installing the program, you should verify your disk condition. You have to understand that, unfortunately, no matter how perfect the recovery software is, physical damage to your drive can be fatal. However, if you suspect wrong disk operation, extraneous sounds, slow reading/recording, we suggest to use Disk Drill and create a DMG/ISO byte-by-byte disk image.
  2. Continue with “Backup/Backup to DMG-image.”  These backups store the contents of data sectors that have been marked as empty, not occupied with data, i.e. sectors that may, actually, still contain lost data. After creating a backup image, you can start recovering your hard drive from this image, not from real hardware. This ensures that the final failure will not occur, while at Deep Scan, more data will remain safe and can be recovered.

If you can’t connect your hard drive with the lost data to another computer and start the recovery, create a bootable disk for data recovery and run Disk Drill. The “Create boot drive” wizard will tell you your next steps. It will take a few minutes to maximize your chances of recovering your data. Or you can proceed in a regular way.

  1. When recovering an external device, you need to connect an external hard drive or SSD to your computer. The disk you choose will be displayed in the list of data available for recovery. Browse through the specific partitions on the drive by clicking on it.  You can scan the entire drive (Deep Scan) or just one chosen partition. Opt for the latter if you can see your partition on the list and save your time.
  2. Choose your scanning method. You can simply click on “Recover” or select an individual scan (the drop-down arrow on the button). Then select Deep Scan (the most effective but the most time consuming) or Quick Scan. 

FYI: To avoid possible problems in the future, you can simply enable Recovery or Recover Vault features to be able to use the most reliable recovery method, i.e. “Undelete Protected Data.”

  1. That’s pretty much about it! Now you just have to wait for the scanning process to finish. This may take quite a long time. Then you will see the list of found files and, hopefully, you will find what you need. Click “Recover” and don’t forget to check your output folder – it has to be outside the hard drive you are recovering from. Wait until the end of the recovery process. And keep in mind that eventually, it’s all about luck!

Mac External Hard Drive Recovery. Disk Drill Main Features

  • Secure photo, video, audio, document, email, and other deleted or lost file recovery from your Mac external hard drive;
  • Extensive support for various removable external hard drives;
  • Existing and deleted data fast scanning from the external hard drive on Mac;
  • File preview before recovering from the external hard drive;
  • Mac 10.7 and later OS support (including macOS Mojave).


You still have a great chance to recover deleted/lost data from your Mac hard drive if it hasn’t been overwritten. In this post, we recommend Disk Drill is your best Mac data recovery tool. Please, let us know in the comments if you have any better ideas or recommendations.

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How to Recover Data from Damaged Mac
Nowadays, more and more people prefer to save important documents and files to external hard drives.
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